Jetscan Review

JetScan allows users to gather high-definition
imagery with low-tech simplicity
By Gil Longwell
uccessfully jetting 2,500 to
3,500 linear feet of sewer line
day-in and day-out requires
focus, attention to detail
and sound decision-making on a
work site that prevents direct operator observation.
An experienced jetter operator
can often reach informed conclusions from the debris he sees collecting in the manhole, but not
always. Sometimes there is no substitute for seeing the work site firsthand. One option is to stop jetting
and wait for a camera truck and
support crew to arrive for a look
down the line. Envirosight’s JetScan
equips the jetter crew with an
onboard alternative they carry to
every work site.
Easily carried onboard a jetter
truck, the JetScan does not need a
sophisticated support truck or a second crew. The jetter operator can
quickly deploy and retrieve a hi-def
video capture device. The imagery,
in turn, enables informed decisionmaking and a better overall line
cleaning result.
On a windy late-November day
with temperatures unexpectedly in
the low teens, the JetScan was demonstrated in Beaver Falls, Pa. This
small city — Joe Namath’s hometown — is about 40 miles northwest
of Pittsburgh. Two Street Department crew members, Pat Burdine,
an operator, and Bob Justisin, a
The JetScan is ready for deployment. The hose guard protects the
jetter hose from chafing as it enters
the potentially rough-edged sewer
pipe. (Photography by Gil Longwell)
The six rearward facing jets are
used to propel the JetScan (shown
on truck step) down the line.
JetScan video nozzle
helper, were asked to demonstrate
the JetScan. Jake Wells, Envirosight’s marketing manager, and Jim
Ahlborn, A&H Equipment’s territory manager, were also on hand.
A&H is the local Envirosight dealer,
and the company sold the city the
Vactor the men used.
While somewhat unfamiliar
with the JetScan, Burdine and Justisin had no difficulty mounting,
deploying and retrieving it in a variety of municipal sewer lines. Ahlborn supplied the JetScan and Wells
provided a laptop computer and an
iPad to view the captured video.
With the waterproof cap removed,
the SD card, charging connector
(bottom) and record enable switch
(red, at top) are all visible.
The JetScan is a water-propelled
and waterproof forward-looking
digital video capture device mounted
on a self-leveling stainless steel frame
or sled. The “camera body” has two
forward-facing LED lights mounted
on either side of a fixed-focus lens
with a 130-degree field of view. A
single on/off button controls the
(Nozzle manufactured by
StoneAge Tools)
Beaver Falls, Pa.
Pat Burdine and
Bob Justisin, Beaver Falls
Street Department
camera’s operation. Video is saved
to a standard SD card. The charging port for the internal battery,
the SD card slot and a secondary
camera-enable switch are grouped
together. A waterproof screw-on
cover engages the enable switch
while covering the SD card and
charging jack. The cap also creates
a waterproof seal.
Without the cap fully secured,
Reprinted with permission from Municipal Sewer & Water™ / March 2014 / © 2014, COLE Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 220, Three Lakes, WI 54562 / 800-257-7222 /
The JetScan’s receiver is secured to the Jetter hose. The large diameter
receiver allows sufficient “hand tightening” without the need for tools.
Beaver Falls Street Department crew members Bob Justisin (foreground)
and Pat Burdine prepare to introduce the JetScan into the manhole.
the device will not respond to the
primary on/off button. This failsafe feature assures that the device
is never deployed in a less than
waterproof configuration.
The basic sled system is designed
for use in pipes from 8 to 15 inches
in diameter. An available, albeit not
shown, wheel set, when attached to
the three sled runners, enables use
in pipes ranging from 15 to 24
inches in diameter.
The JetScan is propelled forward by jetter-supplied high-pressure water delivered through a hose
that connects to the sled via a 1-inch
threaded male hose fitting. Water
forced through as many as six rearfacing nozzles on the sled drives the
entire system. The delivered force
is sufficient to propel the JetScan
to the full length of available hose.
The jetter’s powered hose reel
retrieves the extended hose with the
JetScan firmly attached. An operative footage counter for the hose
reel is essential.
The only user action needed to
initiate or end video capture mode
is to push the on/off button.
After the Vactor’s jetter hose
reel was positioned over the entrance
manhole and with work zone traffic control established, the jetter’s
hose was screwed into the receiver
on the back of the JetScan. Because
of the receiver fitting’s palm-filling
diameter, sufficient torque was
developed and no hand tools were
necessary to secure the JetScan to
the hose.
The on button was pushed, and
following a simple lights-on/deviceon check, deployment began. Intro-
ducing the JetScan into the line to
be inspected required no special
skills or tools for this experienced
jetting crew. As the water pressure
was turned up, the sled began its
travel through the line. The familiar unrestrained fine spray billowed
from the open manhole, along with
a quickly dissipating fog. The fog
was caused by the interaction of the
cold air being drawn over the warm
water in the sewer line.
With no real-time imagery to
watch, the image capture process
continued in a traditional jetting
mode. At the end of the run, customary retrieval practices came
into play.
After retrieval, the JetScan was
positioned on the ground while the
jetter hose’s residual water bled off,
illustrating the six streams that,
underground and at much higher
pressure, provide the propulsion.
Burdine took care to position the
discharging water jets in a direction that minimized the potential
for bodily contact and injury.
When disconnected, the JetScan
was placed on a handy truck step
and turned off. There, Wells screwed
off the waterproof cap and removed
the SD card. He popped the card
into an appropriate port on his laptop and after a quick data transfer,
the video was available for review.
The imagery was also ported to an
iPad Mini, which Burdine and Justisin used to get a better look at what
was encountered in the pipe.
The transferred data can be
sent via email, FTP connection, copied to any storage device with ade-
quate capacity and also archived on
a hard drive or server.
Owner’s comments
Because of this crew’s limited
experience with the JetScan, Steve
Holzinger, an experienced maintenance technician in northern New
Jersey, was contacted for firsthand
user feedback. Holzinger works for
the Franklin Township Sewerage
Authority and has used the JetScan
for about a year. “The JetScan has
always met our needs,” he says. “We
use it to verify our jetting work.”
The township’s jetting program is
The JetScan is positioned in the
pipe and ready to advance.
intense, as every line is jetted annually. Holzinger’s crew cleans between
2,500 and 3,500 linear feet daily.
“We carry an iPad on the truck
so we can watch the video as soon
Reprinted with permission from Municipal Sewer & Water™ / March 2014 / © 2014, COLE Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 220, Three Lakes, WI 54562 / 800-257-7222 /
as the SD card is available,” says
Holzinger. “The JetScan is handy.
We have an aggressive program and
we typically use it about three times
a week,” he explained.
By keeping track of the readings
on the footage counter, Holzinger
is able to have a good idea of how
far down the line the JetScan has
traveled, should it encounter an
impassable obstacle.
Back in Beaver Falls, Public Works
Superintendent Bruno Gratteri is
planning to add a JetScan to the city’s
resources in “the very near future.”
Observer’s comments
Pat Burdine (left) and Bob Justisin review inspection footage on a tablet
The ease of one-button operation, the waterproof fail-safe cap
and the simplicity of jetter hose to
receiver connection puts mastery
of the JetScan operation within
every employee’s reach. High-definition imagery is obtained with lowtech simplicity.
The absence of a cleanup/disinfection protocol in the user’s manual is a significant omission, but
municipalities usually determine
their own hygiene protocols.
Manufacturer’s comments
“JetScan is an accessory no cleaning truck should be without,” says
Envirosight’s Jake Wells. “It’s a
quick, affordable way to understand
pipe condition so you can pick the
right nozzle, identify safety concerns
and document the success of cleaning work.”
“Not meant to perform full
inspections, the JetScan simply gathers footage of pipe conditions to
make cleaning safer, faster and
more effective.
“Saving the time and expense
of calling in a TV truck makes the
JetScan a real money saver,” Wells
concludes. )
Reprinted with permission from Municipal Sewer & Water™ / March 2014 / © 2014, COLE Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 220, Three Lakes, WI 54562 / 800-257-7222 /
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